"Are you going to sneak in all those key words that I need to get past the robots?”
"Do you know what those secret words are that I need in my resume?”
“What key words are on trend now in my industry?”
Oh, job seekers...I feel your pain over the rampant use of Applicant Tracking Systems! Those software systems that scan resumes and weed-out unqualified candidates. If you’ve been filling-out job application after job application with zero response, I know ATS is the bane of your existence.
I know it feels like ATS in on a mission to banish your resume to a black hole, never to see the light of day, let alone a hiring manager!
But, here’s some tough truth.
ATS is here to stay. WHY? HR Managers, Hiring Managers, and many recruiters, LOVE it.
ATS makes their jobs easier. They don’t have to open a thousand emails and read a thousand resumes - over half of which are (usually) completely unqualified dreamers. ATS also does way more than scan resumes – it makes it easier for HR to on-board applicants who are successful at securing a job with their company.
Personally, I prefer coaching my job seekers to ninja their way out of the whole ATS and online application process (in-person networking, LinkedIn, etc.). But, sometimes, even the most savvy job seeker is at the mercy of ATS.
When it absolutely can’t be avoided, there is an online tool that can be helpful in detecting specific key words that strengthen your resume for ATS:
This cute little word-cloud-art website was not necessarily intended for this purpose, but it works pretty good all the same.
Simply copy text from the job ad (or multiple job ads) and create your word cloud.
The larger the word, the more frequently it was used in the job ad(s), and the more likely that it may be a key word in ATS for that company. These are the words you want to include in your resume.
***CAUTION: Exercise some judgement (and common sense) with this strategy. It won’t always be the case that the most frequent word is a key word.
However, it can definitely shed some light on a key skill or qualification that you may have been overlooking and omitting from your resume.
Want to know how to get headhunted? Download the free guide here: tammybanfield.com/freelinkedinguide
Tammy Banfield is a professional resume writer and certified career coach who specializes in helping talented and ambitious women advance their careers and find rewarding, fulfilling jobs.
Tammy has helped over 600 career seekers from around the world secure coveted positions. Connect with Tammy on LinkedIn or at her Website. Want to know how to get headhunted? Download my free guide here: tammybanfield.com/freelinkedinguide